Professor Breyer is very approachable and gives awesome feedback. His office hours are very helpful to discuss paper topics and he really pushes students to delve into the texts in their papers through analyzing the texts thouroufhly. The classroom is an enjoyable space when he's teaching, however one on one meetings with him are much more productive.
I also disagree with the negative reviews. I really enjoyed Professor Sastry's class. She achieves a good balance of facilitating class discussion and making sure the class has the required background information. Unlike First Year English, this class is NOT writing intensive. There is a lot of emphasis on leading class discussion and developing ideas verbally. We talk a lot about the canon. The final paper was to rewrite the syllabus, which I found kind of fun. Definitely a low key seminar and good for students who want more literature. I liked the readings.
I disagree with a lot of what has been said about Sastry. I really enjoyed her class and her as a professor. She had a good balance of facilitating and letting the class go where we wanted the discussion to go. She gave clear instructions for writing assignments and was approachable out of class. Her class has made me want to major in English! The class was a relaxed atmosphere and a pretty quintessential first year college discussion class.
I've heard and have many mixed feelings about Professor Plotkin. These reviews scared the Dickens out of me. Yet I found his class quite enjoyable. When you present a point, he backs you up and grows on it, making it a nice seminar. I hardly got bored in the class (perhaps because I am a big classic literature nerd and participated the most in his class). He is very knowledgeable and knows a lot about language the the subject matter which he teaches. That being said, he is a bit of a harsh grader, and you also don't really know how you are graded in the class. He says that he evaluates how much you have improved, though I didn't improve much. He gave us six different categories on each of our papers and graded each category (paragraph design, diction, syntax, etc). I received mostly Bs (some minuses, some pluses) and got a B+ in his class. I talked to a lot of my classmates and found that he also gives A-s but didn't hear about anyone getting a solid A. When I went in to meet him about my papers, he gave the advise of not using the plot but the idea to construct the paper. I tried and tried to do this, but never got the hang of what he was trying to say. He is very particular about what he wants (I haven't even mentioned the fact that he expects the typical five paragraph essay, which I haven't done since the beginning of high school, along with a thesis paragraph and foreshadow). Overall, don't be too terrified if you get him for first-year English/seminar. Some people love him and are taking his Romantic Era class. Some people dislike him and never look back to their first-year English/seminar. He's definitely laid back and very stereotypically Ivy League.
I LOVED this class. Professor Prescott was a very knowledgeable teacher. As a non-English major, I liked that she did not just analyze the text. For every work that we read, she gave us lots of background information and historical context, which I enjoyed. She liked to throw in little anecdotes that were usually applicable to the conversation but were sometimes a bit off-topic. Nonetheless, the stories were usually quite interesting. As for the papers, she gave us numerous topic choices for each paper and then told us that we could always run other ideas by her. There were usually a few analytical choices and a few creative choices, so you could pick your strength (or weakness, if you wanted to improve your writing) for each essay. She gave ample feedback on each paper, and she was more than willing to clarify and help during her office hours. Like other reviewers have said, she is pretty loose with deadlines (and understanding if something major comes up), but she is usually pretty prompt about returning papers. If you're interested in continuing Legacy into your second semester (or if you want to pick it up!), then I would highly recommend taking Prescott's class. You will enjoy it, and your writing will improve!
Daniel swift is hip and with it (rumored to moonlight as a paparazzi). He knows his stuff and loves to talk about anything literature. Must go to class, papers are moderately easy. Swift puts a lot of emphasis on revision and you can make up bad grades by rewriting.